We are staying in Africa this week but heading north to Mauritania. On the Northwestern coast of Africa it is bordered by Western Sahara and Algeria to the North, Mali to the East and Senegal to the South. On the Atlantic Ocean this coastal country is rich in natural resources. Officially known as the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, they were a French colony from 1904 till 1960 when they gained their independence.
Mauritania is the largest country in the world situated entirely below an altitude 1,000 m or 3,300 ft. Generally flat with a few ridges and clifflike outcroppings, dotted with oases, Mauritania is made up of mostly dry vast plains.
Three colors make up the flag- Green for Islam, Gold for the sands of the Sahara and Red for the sacrifices they have made and will continue to make to defend their territory.
The Red stripes were added in 2017 and the star and crescent are the official symbols of Islam the main religion of the country.
To make the flag start by folding the top and bottom in a few inches to get the lines for your stripes.
Paint the outside stripes Red and the inside main part Green.
While that dries cut out a gold star and crescent. Once dry glue them in the center and you are done!
Iron Ore Science Experiment
Mauritania has 3 main exports, Iron ore makes up 46%, non-fillet frozen fish takes 16% and gold rounds them out with 11%.
Iron is extracted from the ground, then goes through a process of refining before used to make all sorts of things. The cool thing about iron is it is magnetic and it is found just about everywhere in very small quantities.
It is science experiment time!
You will need…
- white paper
- strong magnet
Start by going outside and getting some dirt, we collected ours from two places to compare them.
This next part can be done anywhere were there is no wind- we went inside. Place a small amount of dirt on the white paper and slowly move it over the magnet.
Watch closely and if there is iron present you will see it move and stay on the magnet as the paper moves over it.
We tested two samples and a few specks moved in one and nothing moved in the other.
It was really cool to see the natural metals in our own yard and watch how they reacted to the magnet.